What's new in Durham

The county has seen many developments in recent years, from Beamish Museum, Crook Hall and Durham Cathedral, to the opening of new luxury spas and significant investment in our rural areas including the development of the electric bike network and two new food trails.

We’ve seen phenomenal festivals, exhibitions and events including Lumiere, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Ashes and the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at The Bowes Museum.

2016 is proving to be a very exciting year for Durham, with more investment and more new developments meaning more visitors, and more scope for your business to benefit.

Want to attract more visitors? Here’s a taster of what’s coming up in 2016. Use the new developments and events as hooks in your own marketing activity, including generating packages and special offers for your visitors, which Visit County Durham can also promote for you.


Open Treasure at Durham Cathedral

On July 23rd, Durham Cathedral will open the doors to previously hidden spaces inside the Cathedral cloister, creating a new exhibition route that will display treasures from the Cathedral’s internationally renowned collections.

This new, permanent visitor attraction in Durham City will attract more visitors to the Cathedral than ever before. Don't forget to use #OpenTreasure on Twitter and why not include a piece on Open Treasure on your website? 

Below are some facts that may help your promotion, and for any further information please contact Catherine Hodgson.


  • Open Treasure is located in the most intact surviving set of medieval monastic buildings in the UK.The magnificent fourteenth-century Monks’ Dormitory is the only intact surviving monastic dormitory in the UK.
  • Open Treasure will be an interactive experience, with activities and exhibits in the Monks’ Dormitory for visitors of all ages including sights, sounds and smells to evoke life in a medieval monastery.
  • There will always be something new to see in the state-of-the-art Collections Gallery, with three to four rolling exhibitions each year showcasing some of the most precious artefacts from the Cathedral’s collections. The first exhibition in the Collections Gallery will be ‘The Making of Open Treasure’.
  • The stunning Great Kitchen is one of only two surviving medieval monastic kitchens in the UK and will initially house an awe-inspiring exhibition of church plate and metalwork.

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KynrenKynren – an epic tale of England

The eagerly anticipated £31m live-action night show is firmly underway in Bishop Auckland. Crowds of 8,000 have been packed into Eleven Arches' tribune with shows running throughout the summer. 

The spectacular open air show is the first of its kind in the Uk and is generating interest around the world after a host of positive media coverage, and being highlighted in Rough Guides list of 10 Tourist Attractions to visit in 2016. 

Eleven Arches have produced an online toolkit to help you promote the show across your digital channels. 


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BeamishBeamish Museum

In a new development for Beamish Museum, a photographers and chemist opened in spring in the 1900s town. Based on a listed Georgian building in Durham City. Visitors will be able to dress in period costumes and have their photo taken in the studio. With further developments in the pipeline, Beamish continues to be a big draw for visitors. 

Could you use developments at Beamish to encourage more visitors to stay longer?



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KillhopeKillhope Lead Mining Museum

Grants from HLF and the Arts Council will allow Killhope to redisplay their collection, revamp the underground tour, and restore the Buddle House where a new interactive model will allow for more hands-on interpretation.





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Wharton ParkWharton Park

Wharton Park in Durham City reopened this May bank holiday with a new visitor centre, café, toilets, and play areas. The park has opened up the famous city skyline view of the World Heritage Site.





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Dalton Park

Work on phase 2 of Dalton Park is under way and will see an investment of £45m result in significant leisure extension to the parks’ retail offer, including a hotel, restaurants, a pub and a cinema





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Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at The Bowes Museum

Hot on the heels of last year’s successful YSL event, The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle has pulled of another major fashion coup with this new exhibition which opened in June 2016. The Museum is the only UK venue outside London to stage this exhibition before touring internationally to the USA and China. Organised by the V&A, you will see more than 200 pairs of historic and contemporary men’s and women’s shoes by 70 named designers, including Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior and Prada, many from the V&A’s unrivalled collection.



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Top 10 events

We’ve picked out a few events which make up a top 10 on thisisdurham.com. Take a look at the events to see how they could help you attract more visitors, and if you’d like to list an event, please contact Pam Pedelty.

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How can we help?

We can promote your accommodation packages and special offers on your behalf. Contact us today.


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